Stock markets appear to be in the throes of a secular bull run, albeit selectively, and currently in pause mode after last year's spectacular gains.
Ironically it's the countries that have central banks engaging in an unprecedented global monetary expansion to boost growth, although anemic at best, which are the big winners.
And in the path for asset-market reflation-based policies, banks in particular stand out as clear sector beneficiaries of economic engineering. Why? Because banks are the backbone of all economies, so when asset prices rise, and economic activity picks up, lending and borrowing follow suit.
Read MoreThe world's 10 safest banks, ranked
That may appear too easy to apply as a fool-proof investment thesis for investors, but overall analysts in a CNBC banking poll say the sector should perform if the overall economy does too.
So after stellar equity market gains in 2013, how do banks stack up for 2014? In the context of Asian markets, the region is a melting pot of many different markets with different classifications ranging from frontier markets to developed markets.
In identifying which banks would be analysts' top choices for 2014, I broke up the CNBC poll surveys based on themes that are currently being explored by various analysts. The three regions are North Asia, Greater China and Southeast Asia. The methodology for each is quite different, as are the circumstances.
We start with Japan, because that's exactly where the worlds' most expansive monetary easing policy is taking place. If 'Abenomics' is to work by successfully lifting Japan out of a prolonged and agonizing deflationary run, banks should be the main beneficiaries.
Citi is bullish on Japan banks based on the following principles: a) perfectly recovered loan growth, b) potential steepening of yield thanks to reflation and U.S. tapering, c) overseas expansion (for mega banks) and d) valuation re-rating after the markets fully discount the core profitability outlook. Overall, the top picks from the pool of analysts polled, SMFG and MUFG were the preferred ones.